Smyrna home brims with creativity


Melissa Payne Baker’s home art studio allows her to paint original abstracts on canvas while her son explores the backyard.

“I can see him playing while I’m painting,” she said.

After working out of her garage-level studio in a townhome, the Smyrna home’s layout helps her juggle running a business with motherhood. She turned the laundry room into a part-office, part-mudroom and paints in the separate light-filled studio on the terrace level with backyard views.

In the rest of the Smyrna home, she lightened up the green and dark beige walls with a Sherwin-Williams shade of alabaster white and displayed original artwork by herself and her creative family and friends.

“I love a big, blank wall,” she said. “Art can definitely anchor the design.”

Snapshot

Residents: Rick Baker and Melissa Payne Baker and their son, Payne, and cat, Gesso. Melissa owns Art For Every Palette and Rick works for McKesson in medical sales.

Location: Smyrna

Size: About 3,000 square feet, four bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths

Year built/bought: 2000/2012

Architectural style: French cottage

Favorite architectural elements: French doors that open up to the deck where they often eat dinner, Melissa said.

Renovations: They converted the laundry room into an office and mudroom designed by their neighbor and architect Tim Sandberg and moved the laundry area into their master bathroom closet, which is more convenient, Melissa said. The Bakers used part of the attic space to create a book nook in their son’s room.

Interior design style: Eclectic

Favorite interior design elements: Baker, who describes herself as “constantly in design mode,” employed the interior design knowledge she gained from working in the industry for more than 20 years. Everything in the house seems to have a story, from paintings to unique heirlooms, such as her grandfather’s old paint supplies and artwork and her grandmother’s daffodils and other plants. “I took some of those plants and pressed them between books and dried them, and I made those botanical hangings on the wall (in the stairwell),” Melissa said. “I used to watch my grandmother. She would dry plants between pages of books and then frame them.”

Favorite family-friendly feature: Even the firewood has reminders of her family. In the terrace level, a stack of wood in the bookshelf beside the fireplace was harvested from a favorite tree that fell last year in her parents’ yard in Mississippi. “That’s where I grew up. I told my dad, ‘I want part of that tree,’” she said.

Favorite outdoor elements: Two courtyards and a front yard with herbs and daises that reach about 5 feet tall, Melissa said. The greatest compliment was when someone told her the front yard looked like a French garden, she adds.

Resources: Furniture from Ballard Designs, Nadeau, Scott Antique Market and estate sales.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video
Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video

A dentist in Greenville, South Carolina, is inspiring millions to get their teeth cleaned after taking on the Drake-inspired “In My Feelings” dance challenge. Dr. Rich Constantine’s version of the “shiggy” -- a dance inspired by the rapper -- has over 24 million views on Facebook. >> Read more trending...
Pools, hot tubs more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find
Pools, hot tubs more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find

Taking a cool, refreshing dip in a lake or swimming pool is one of summer’s enjoyments and sometimes a necessary escape from the stifling heat. But two recent federal health studies found that some waters is better than others, at least when it comes to avoiding waterborne illnesses. Of 633 outbreaks nationwide caused by bacteria, viruses or...
Home remedies: Treating your sunburn
Home remedies: Treating your sunburn

It boils down to what’s in the term sunburn: “sun” and “burn.” Simply put, the sun burns your skin. And the result can be pain, redness, blisters and peeling skin. “Prevention is the key,” says Dr. Cindy Kermott, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine physician. “But if you’ve already been sunburned...
Effortless ways to eat well this summer

It’s hot outside, and you’ve got about 50 million more fun things to do than ponder nutritious choices. So just … don’t! With our simple tricks and tips, eating well is as effortless as lounging by the pool. Problem: We love Mexican and Chinese takeout. Do you have any smart picks? Solution: On Chinese night, order steamed...
Healthy heatwave reminders: Heatstroke and hydration
Healthy heatwave reminders: Heatstroke and hydration

On bright summer days we may remember to apply the sunscreen, but we may not remember to give the heat the full respect it deserves. When temperatures soar, Mayo Clinic experts say we need to take precautions. We also need to be on guard for the warning signs of overheating. Family medicine physician Jennifer Nordstrom, M.D., at Mayo Clinic Health...
More Stories